Deal values Brazil’s largest digital bank at $30 billion
Brazil’s digital bank operator Nu Pagamentos SA said Berkshire Hathaway Inc. agreed to buy $500 million of its shares, as digital banking expands quickly in Latin America’s largest economy.
The investment is accompanied by another, $250 million deal that includes various domestic and foreign investors, Nu said. Both deals were signed late Friday and put the company’s value at $30 billion, Nu said.
The São Paulo-based, privately held firm operates via its Nubank brand. It is the largest fintech in Latin America and one of the largest in the world, with 40 million users in Brazil, Mexico and Colombia, the company said. It has raised around $2 billion since its inception in 2013, Nu said.
The company said Berkshire’s is the largest single investment it has ever received. Nu didn’t disclose the size of any investor’s stake.
Berkshire Hathaway didn’t respond to messages requesting comment.
“This for us is just a huge validation of what Nubank has been doing since the very beginning,” the company’s founder and Chief Executive David Vélez said Monday, adding further fundraising is off the table for now. “With this, we are very, very well capitalized; we don’t have any plans to raise any additional capital.”
Mr. Vélez said a public listing isn’t in Nubank’s plans for now, although “we will go public at some point.” He said the company plans to keep expanding, particularly into investment and insurance markets in the three countries it already operates in. He said his main focus is organic growth, but didn’t rule out acquisitions.
The deal comes amid fast expansion of digital banking in Brazil, a nation of 213 million where traditional banking has for decades been concentrated in a handful of big institutions and a large part of the population is left out of the financial system.
In the past few years, Brazil’s central bank has sought to increase competition by supporting financial startups willing to service the country’s large unbanked population.